once again it’s time for a new post on the Astroblog. In 2011 I had the pleasure to meet a few friends of Fat Albert Einstein in the digital world. One of his buddies, Kone, struck me with his album “Tractatus” which is a refreshing mix of samples & live instrumentation.
Kone recently released his “White Tape”, a slick mix of original compositions & edits. We finally found the time to take a quick interview. Have fun!
Astroboter:Hi Kone, please give us a short introduction of who you are & what you’re doing.
Kone: Hello… my name is KONE and I am from Los Angeles, California and I am a producer of music. I have been making beats for a long time and I release most of my material with Alpha Pup Records.
A: You’ve released a beat tape called “The White Tape”. Why did you’ve chosen this format and what’s your relation to cassettes?
K: I chose to do this release on cassette because it fit perfectly as a medium for this project. The White Tape is somewhere between an album and a mixtape, and the cassette is just perfect. I grew up on tapes, and nowadays since vinyl is so expensive, it is a nice way to present something in a physical form that still has an element of collectability to it.
A: Your last full length album was called “Tractatus” which derives from the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. How much does the mindset influence your music? Are there special aesthetics which arise from your thinking?
K: Well, I studied philopsophy in school, and looking back now I think it has had a greater impact on the music I make than my actual studies of music. To me music is imagination, and I am always trying to capture the things I hear and see and present them to others so that they can share in that. I think my music is very mindful, but without being too heady. Meaning it’s something that you can explore in your own mind and imagination, but it is accessible and does not need to be “figured out.” As with philosophy, I’m way more interested in the question than the answer. Using Wittgenstein’s “Tractatus” as a reference point allowed me to connect all the dots in the path that my life has taken, as well as help give some framework for the music.
A: What I like the most about your music, is the combination of instruments and the broad facet of the samples that you’re using. How does your work in the studio look like? Any favorite instruments or tools that you like to use for your style?
K: I’m always trying to grow my little studio piece by piece but it still just a humble little station. My studio is basically two turntables, a rane mixer, a macbook pro, a focusrite saffire pro dsp interface, a small mixing board, a korg N5 synth, a bunch of midi controllers, a couple microphones, a couple guitars, one small amp, a bunch of pedals, a few circuit bent toys, and stacks and stacks of records.
A: In the video for “New Los Angeles“ we see you driving through Los Angeles. How important is this city for you when it comes to your music and which aspect has the most value?
K: I love Los Angeles, but I didn’t appreciate it until I had a chance to travel around a bit. Now I can tap into that feeling of traveling in another country even when I’m just riding around. I get a lot of inspiration from this city.
A: Los Angeles is a crowded city with a lot of artists. Who are your favorites and are there any people you would like to work with?
K: Oh man… yeah there’s way too many talented people here. I wouldn’t even know how to begin naming individuals who inspire. It was fun collaborating with all the folks on The White Tape, I definitely hope to keep building with everyone.
A: If you have the chance to meet a dead person, who would it be and what would you do?
K: Oh maaaaaaaaaan that’s a tough question. Well obviously there’s a lot of philosophers and authors I’d love to talk to… musicians and movie directors i don’t know! I guess I’d say Jimi Hendrix, because that’s what the kid in me would want.
A: What are your plans for the future?
K: I just hope to keep making music and being with my loved ones for a long, long time. In the immediate future I’m trying to come over to your side of the pond and get down. Can we do that?
Thanks to Kone for this interview. I hope that you’ve enjoyed it. Feel free to dig into Kone’s world right here:
Have a good time,